Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Surveys: Linking Individual Data to Organizational Data in Life-Course Analysis
RatSWD Working Paper No. 68
12 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2009
Date Written: March 2009
One of the fundamental insights gained by the social and economic sciences is that empirically founded statements on the conditions and consequences of individual behavior or of social and economic change can only be formulated on the basis of longitudinal microdata. The observation of individuals, households, and other socio-economic units over long periods of time allows us to causally determine the reasons for social and economic stability and change. Moreover, socio-economic phenomena are particularly path-dependent. The opportunities and restrictions that individual or corporate actors face over their life courses — or more generally: over time — depend to a great extent on decisions and events earlier in time. The available individual and household-level datasets used in empirical social and economic research in Germany are capable of mirroring these path-dependencies.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation